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Subway Accessibility Guide

Most MBTA subway stations (Red, Orange, and Blue Lines) and select trolley stations (Mattapan and Green Line) are accessible to seniors and people with disabilities.

Every customer has the right to use accessibility equipment at MBTA stations. This includes elevators, escalators, ramps, mobile bridgeplates, mobile lifts, high-level platforms, and mini-high platforms.

To help you plan your trip, MBTA train schedules are available in large print and braille formats. Contact Customer Support to request a copy.

Subway and Trolley Fares

What You Can Expect at an MBTA Train Station

MBTA train stations have large “T” logos and station name signs that are the same color as the line(s) that stop there. The sign will also indicate whether you can access all train service from that entrance, or just one direction. Not every entrance to underground platforms serves both directions.

You can also find large, high-contrast rail maps before and after the fare gates.

Train stations also have:

  • Brightly lit entrances, platforms, walkways, and ticketing areas
  • Wider faregates for customers with wheeled mobility devices, strollers, or luggage
  • Large directional signs to help find elevators, escalators, and ramps
  • Digital display screens and automated announcements for destination, schedule, and delay information
  • High-contrast, tactile warning strips along platform edges
  • High-contrast, tactile warning strips along stair edges
  • TTY telephones and call boxes to request assistance

The destination of every train is displayed on the front and sides of the cars, and is announced by an automated system as the train approaches the station.

Boarding and Exiting an MBTA Subway Train (Red, Orange, or Blue Line)

If you need boarding assistance, signal to MBTA staff at the station. If there are no staff members nearby, use a station call box to let a dispatcher know you need assistance.

An MBTA staff member will meet you on the platform with a bridgeplate to span the gap between the platform and the train. Once you board, they may ask you for your destination to make sure someone is there to help you exit.

If there is no one there to help you exit, press the emergency call button located at either end of the car to speak with the train operator.

Boarding and Exiting an MBTA Trolley (Green Line and Mattapan Line)

There are 2 types of MBTA trolleys, and boarding procedures are different for each. Every Green Line train has a combination of both trolley types.

High-floor trolley

Older trolley cars have stairs at every entrance, and passengers with wheeled mobility devices can board them using a mobile lift or mini-high platform. 

At stations with mini-high platforms, position yourself safely on the platform, and the operator will set up a bridgeplate. For your safety, don’t approach the train until the bridgeplate is in place. 

At stations without mini-high platforms, the operator will set up a mobile lift at the center doors of the trolley. When the operator tells you it’s safe, you can board the lift. Position yourself toward the inside of the car and set your brakes/turn off the motor of your wheeled mobility device. A small ramp will span the distance between the floor of the car and the lift. Exit the lift when the operator says it’s safe.

Once you’re on board, the operator may ask you for your destination so they can help you exit safely.

If no one is there to help you exit, use the emergency call buttons at either end of the car to speak with the operator. 

Low-floor trolley

New Green Line cars have low floors and built-in bridgeplates. The outside of these trains have Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) buttons. Tap this button to alert the operator that you’d like to use a bridgeplate.

The operator will meet you at the middle train doors to set up the bridgeplate. They’ll let you know when it’s safe to board. 

Once you’re on board, the operator may ask you for your destination so they can help you exit safely.

If no one is there to help you exit, use the emergency call buttons at either end of the car to speak with the operator. 

Priority Seating Areas

Priority seats are available near the doors of every train, and passengers are expected to yield their seats to seniors, expectant parents, and people with disabilities. There are designated spots for wheeled mobility devices on most trains. Look for the ISA symbol above the space.

If no priority seats are available, the operator can ask passengers to offer their seats, but cannot force anyone to move. Alternately, they can help you to another seat or find out when the next train that can accommodate you will be arriving.

While on Your Trip

All stops and transfer points are announced automatically and displayed on the train. If the automated system isn’t working, the MBTA operator will make those announcements. 

Stop announcements are made 3 times: once while the train is at the station, once as it departs the station, and once as it approaches the next station. The third announcement will also include information about connections and which side the doors will open on.

You do not need to request your stop on the Red, Orange, or Blue Lines. To request street-level Green Line stops, press the yellow or gray tape near the windows, or pull the gray cable near the ceiling of the train.